Fourteen-year-old high school freshman Ahmed Mohamed loves robotics and engineering. So much so that he brought a homemade digital clock to his Irving, Texas, school on Monday to impress his teacher. However, things spun out of control when the teacher mistook the clock for a bomb.
After Mohamed’s clock was confiscated, he was sent to the principal’s office where five police officers were waiting for him. Without allowing Ahmed to call his father, the authorities forced Ahmed to write a statement, handcuffed him, and took him to a juvenile detention center.
When news of Mohamed’s story broke, social media erupted in ferocious outcries of Islamophobia and overwhelming support for Ahmed. #IStandWithAhmed was trending so strong on Facebook and Twitter that it caught the attention of some rather notable figures–from Silicon Valley to the White House.
In addition to getting shout-outs from President Obama, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, Mohamed has received invitations to intern at Twitter and Reddit, and been offered a seat at the Google science fair and a scholarship to NASA’s space camp–just to name a few.
Thankfully, all the charges against Mohamed have been dropped, and he says he’s considering transferring schools. And to all the people who stood with him in his time of unnecessary crisis, he had this to say during a recent appearance on Good Morning America: “I was scared at the moment, but now I feel really happy that I’m getting all this support from all over the world, and the support isn’t just for me, but it’s for everyone who’s been through this.”